MIAMI (CBSMiami) — The Miami-Dade Police Department’s top cop is retiring.
James Loftus’ retirement is effective October 1st, though the police director will cap off his 29-year career with MDPD on Friday.
“I’m moving on to another opportunity.. and that’s my family,” Loftus said in a news conference Thursday. “I got a legacy, and they live in South Dade. And that’s my kids .”
Loftus denied that he was leaving due to major budget and service cuts to his department.
“If I stood here and told you that my reasons were personal politics related, or budget related, I would be a coward and a liar and I’m neither one of those,” said Loftus.
He told CBS4′s Gary Nelson that he chose to hold the news conference in a cramped conference room, as opposed to being surrounded by his colleagues in uniform.
“It’s very sad, and that’s why I don’t want the 200 cops around, Gary, and it’s very emotional and difficult for me,” said Loftus. “Nonetheless, I made the right decision.”
During his time with MDPD, Loftus held various civil services ranks. Prior to becoming police director in February 2010, Loftus was the Assistant Director over Investigative Services, overseeing major bureaus within MDPD including Homicide, Robbery, Sexual Crimes, Narcotics, Domestic Crimes, Economic Crimes, Warrants, and the Strategic and Specialized Investigation Bureaus.
In an email to what he referred to as his “MDPD Family”, Lofton said “I think I’ve done my part, while you–the men and women of this Department–have in large measure done the rest of the work.”
Lofton went on to say “My greatest professional satisfaction has come from the members of this Department when you referred to me as ‘one of your own’ or ‘a cop’s cop’”. He said that distinction means more to him than any rank achieved.
He closed his email to MDPD with the following: “Never forget who you are…the thin line between good and evil.”
During Lofton’s career, he has served as a supervisor in Uniform Patrol, Professional Compliance Bureau, Criminal Conspiracy Unit, and as Captain of the Homicide Bureau.
In 1999, he was promoted to Major of the Homicide Bureau, and was later promoted and served as Chief of the Criminal Investigations Division.
In addition to his law enforcement experience, Loftus has been actively involved with the Police Officer Assistance Trust (POAT), a non-profit support organization for the law enforcement community of Miami-Dade County, since its inception in 1989.
He currently serves as President of the organization. He is also a member of the Miami-Dade County Association of Chiefs of Police, and serves on the Board of Directors of the Two Hundred Club of Greater Miami.
Loftus is married with two children, and holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Barry University.